Singapore says boat 'lost control' and hit tanker causing oil spill

Singapore says boat 'lost control' and hit tanker causing oil spill

An oil spill has blackened parts of Singapore's southern shores, forcing popular beaches to close.

Netherlands-flagged dredger boat Vox Maxima struck Singaporean fuel supply ship Marine Honor on Friday, after a sudden loss in engine and steering control.

The collision ruptured one of Marine Honor's cargo tanks, according to authorities, which caused low-sulphur oil to leak into the sea.

While the spill has been contained, tides have washed the oil - which has been treated with dispersants - further along the shore, including to the resort island of Sentosa.

Conservationists and biologists are monitoring the full extent of the damage on marine and wildlife.

More than 250 workers are involved in the clean-up, according to authorities, with a mile of containment booms set up to trap the oil and stop further spread.

Meanwhile, floating containment devices will corral the oil on the surface, where two skimmer craft will then lift the oil into storage tanks.

Part of the beachfront at a public park, beaches at three southern islands and a nature reserve have been closed to facilitate clean-up efforts.

Sentosa beaches remain open to the public but sea activities and swimming are prohibited.

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The National Parks Board also deployed oil-absorbing booms to protect mangroves at another park that have not been affected so far.

Members of the public who volunteered to help have been assigned to patrol the park for early signs of oil slicks.